after Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Temple of Jupiter Panhellenius in the Island of Aegina, engraved by John Pye


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Line engraving on paper
Image: 383 × 580 mm
Purchased 1988

Display caption

In 1816 Turner exhibited two paintings of the temple at Aegina, based on the drawing provided by Henry Gally Knight, and perhaps on further evidence from the architect Thomas Allason. The paintings showed the temple ruined and restored, and formed his first pair of pictures contrasting ancient and modern life. This print reproduces the view of the restored temple, showing it lit by morning sun and with a wedding procession in the foreground. The theme is the birth of a civilisation. Although Turner had accompanied this picture by a quotation from Robert Southey, the poignant contrast between ancient and modern Greece implied by the pair is a thoroughly Byronic one.

Gallery label, August 2004

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

Catalogue entry

T05080 The Temple of Jupiter Panhellenius in the Island of Aegina engr. John Pye

Line-engraving 383 × 580 (15 1/16 × 22 13/16) on India paper laid on wove paper 584 × 805 (23 × 31 3/4); plate mark 522 × 675 (20 9/16 × 26 1/2)
Engraved inscriptions: ‘J,M,W, Turner R,A,’ below image b.l., ‘John Pye London 1827’ below image b.r.
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1988
Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: Rawlinson I 1908, no.208, engraver's proof (d); John Gage, J.M.W. Turner: 'A Wonderful Range of Mind', 1987, p.208, fig.288 (detail); Lyles and Perkins 1989, p.79; Herrmann 1990, p.142, pl.117

Engraver's proof of print published as a single plate, 1828. Original oil painting: private collection, New York (Butlin and Joll 1984, no.133; Gage 1987, p.54, fig.61). Pye was assisted in the execution of the preliminary etching for this plate by Samuel Middiman (1750–1831), whose name is inscribed on the earliest engraver's proof (a), dated 1824, and on the second published state, which is inscribed with a dedication to the Lord High Chancellor, John Singleton, Baron Lyndhurst. The plate was first published on 1 January 1828 by Moon, Boys and Graves in London and in Paris by Pieri Benard.

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

You might like

In the shop